Some or all of these signs may be present
when a person reaches their burnout level of mental and physical fatigue.
1. Extreme and ongoing physical and mental
fatigue is one of the more familiar signs of burnout. People press through
these symptoms to the detriment of their health, using stimulants like caffeine
and sugar in the form of coffee, energy drinks, and food. This creates a cycle
of high and low energy, which actually increases stress levels and may lead to
other health issues in the future, like obesity and high blood pressure.
2. People who reach burnout often
experience recurring illnesses and become ill more frequently. Their high
levels of fatigue compromise their immune systems making them more vulnerable
3. Sleep disturbances or trouble falling
asleep, either a few times a week or more frequently, may be a sign of burnout.
You may wake intermittently and go back to sleep or wake and not be able to go
back to sleep at all. When burnout occurs, some people advance to having
nightly bouts of insomnia.
4. Without intervention, burnout often
leads to depression. Mild feelings of sadness or discontent grow into deeper
feelings of melancholy and lethargy. It can also lead to feelings of worthlessness,
feeling bound to the cause of your burnout and hopelessness.
5. Pessimism grows as personal
dissatisfaction and a sense of powerlessness does the same. Your perception of
yourself becomes increasingly negative and may affect work and personal
6. You begin to withdraw from social
interactions. This may progress to actively avoiding social interactions by
timing your arrivals and departures to avoid other people.
7. Continually focusing on your job, even
during leisure time, to the point it becomes hazardous to your personal
relationships. Burnout causes work to edge out time with family and friends; it
occupies your thoughts and conversation and usually with a negative tone.
Your ability to think clearly and effectively begin to fail. Initially,
you may experience minor memory lapses. If the high stress levels continue, it
begins to impact your ability to perform regular tasks well and in a timely
9. Your job performance falls below the
expectations of your coworkers and yourself. Part of burnout is an overreaching
sense of detachment, which causes harm instead of allowing you to exercise an
even handed approach to your job. The level of detachment leads to an actual
10. Increased levels of anger and
irritability also occur during an episode of burnout. This may affect personal
as well as professional relationships leading to arguments or outbursts.
you notice yourself exhibiting one or more of these behaviors, set aside some
time to evaluate:
number of obligations you carry at work and at home. Are you overextended?
level of job satisfaction. Is your job fulfilling your need to contribute and
to develop professionally?
you maintaining an appropriate work to life balance?
If your answer to any of these is no,
develop strategies to turn them into a yes. You don’t have to do it alone, but
however you do it it is extremely important to get stress under control so that
it does not impact your physical, and emotional wellbeing.
Seek out professional organizations,
psychologists, therapists, and counselors for assistance with mitigating